New Releases 2 December 2016

collage-copy

Celebrated Montreal-based EDM duo Adventure Club has released the select party album to close out the year with a smash. Red // Blue is the title of the debut LP. It features a troupe of ear-massaging choice vocalists and includes a brilliant collaboration with DallasK. Red // Blue, as the title suggests, is as hot as it is super cool.  iTunes

No stranger to the Billboard Hot 100, whether teaming up with fellow Ontarian Alyssa Reid, drawing inspiration from Rockwell, or flying solo, the talented Virginia to Vegas, alias of Guelph’s American-born Derik Baker, has released his debut album, Utopian. If nothing else, the LP reminds us of his indomitable knack for crafting savoury EDM-inflected pop. We are very fortunate to have this ace a part of team Canada.  iTunes

Also from Guelph, ON is as yet to be crowned master of cool-groove R&B Elaquent. Worst Case Scenario is his latest LP. Mostly instrumental, it is filled with sumptuous beats and chillout vibes. Kick back, relax and enjoy this great work from this marvellous producer.  iTunes

Niagara Falls’ deadmau5 is back decking the electronic music halls with his eighth album W:/2016Album/. At times, spacey and others gritty, the mostly instrumental disc sparkles along with relaxed beats and atmospheric shimmers.  iTunes

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Headlines for Early July 2015

THE WEEKND SCORES FIRST MULTIPLATINUM SINGLE OF 2015

Toronto’s The Weeknd becomes the first Canadian artist to see a 2015 single earn multiplatinum status, as “Earned It” strikes double platinum for sales in excess of 160,000 copies. Other certified 2015 singles are “I Really Like You” from Carly Rae Jepsen and “Sound of Your Heart” from Shawn Hook, both gold. “Where Are U Now” which features Canadian artist Justin Bieber has gone gold as well. “Something Big” by Ontario’s Shawn Mendes, though released in November 2014, peaked on the charts this year and has gone platinum.

the weeknd

WANTING QU MAKES HERSTORY

Vancouver based recording artist Wanting Qu now has scholarships named in her honour by The Art Institute of Vancouver. Launched on Canada Day, the college is now accepting applications for the Wanting Qu Rising Star Scholarship ($20,000) and the Wanting Qu Most Dedicated Artist Scholarship ($10,000). Qu was a 2007 graduate of the college with a Certificate in Electronic Music.

Wanting is featured on various artists album Herstory with Mayday. The latter is a very popular rock band based in Taiwan. The album is a compilation of some of the band’s greatest hits all covered by female superstars like Fish Leong and Sandy Lam. Wanting voices the opening track, “There Is An Absolute In Life”. See the MV below.

DISNEY AND DEADMAU5 PATCH THINGS UP

Things appear to be settled now on a long-running dispute between Disney and deadmau5 regarding his mau5 head. The EDM superstar had already trademarked his gear in 30 countries but was unable to do so in the United States because Disney objected saying that it bore too close a resemblance to Mickey Mouse ears. Deadmau5 retorted by demanding Disney stop using his track “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” in a remix featuring Mickey. The two parties seem to have realized that working together rather than being at odds would be more mutually profitable.

deadmau5 disney

KIRA ISABELLA SET FOR THE STAMPEDE

Ottawan country superstar Kira Isabella will be performing July 11-12 with American artist Jason Aldean during the Calgary Stampede this year. With two stupendous albums under her belt, we do wonder why they would not have Kira headline her own show to a sold out Saddledome crowd, but the country music broadcast scene is in “bro mode” these days. In related news, the Calgary Stampede will not be serving cockroach pizza as originally planned because the critters were barred entry to Canada at the border. Last year, scorpion pizza was apparently a big hit!

kira

HEDLEY TWO SHOES

BC band Hedley has created its own brand of shoes. They do look kinda nifty. Whether you use them to bowl, dance, or peddle bicycles is up to you.

Hedley shoes

CARLY RAE GRACES THE COVER OF ELLE

Elle magazine has decided to feature Carly Rae Jepsen on the front cover, looking super cool:

Carly Rae Jepsen Elle Magazine

As promised, we leave you with Wanting Qu’s cover of Mayday’s “There Is an Absolute in Life”.

Music News, Beginning of Spring 2015

deadmau5 at JUNOs 2015

While still awaiting followup to her JUNO winning song “You and I”, we can at least enjoy some songs Oakville, ON’s Anjulie has written for others. The latest is track “In the Blue” which appears on the deluxe edition of Kelly Clarkson’s latest album, Piece By Piece. The album debuted at #4 last week.  Link

NFL American football cornerback Prince Amukamara decided to show his support for the Canadian Music Industry by swinging up north to attend the JUNO Awards! In an interview with Lauren Toyota on the red carpet, he stated that he was attending out of his love for Canadian music, especially his favourite artists Drake, Justin Bieber, and Michael Bublé. He said his wife loves Canadian artists too, including Alanis Morissette and The Weeknd. Link

The United Kingdom has unveiled its best-selling albums of the new millennium so far, and a Canadian artist is at #7: Michael Bublé for Crazy Love. His Christmas is at #28. Those are the only Canadian albums in the Top 50.  Link

Here at home, deadmau5 has scored his very first platinum single. Music Canada recently gave the certification to “Seeya”, marking sales of 80,000 units. Album 4×4=12 was also a platinum seller.  Link

Louis-Jean Cormier, creative genius and lead singer of Polaris Prize winning band Karkwa, and the man who won all those Félix awards (and a JUNO!) for his debut solo album Le treizième étage, is following up with album Les grandes artères which is due out next week! Also expected out by the end of the month are new albums from Hayden, Mia Martina, Ron Sexsmith, Dear Rouge, Alex Cuba, Three Days Grace, and more!  Link

We leave you with recently released music video from Grimes. She says that this song, “REALiTi” will not be included on her next album and that the MV is a montage of her travels through Asia.

Ice Conduit to the 2015 JUNOs: Artist/Group of the Year Nominees

Nominees for these two categories are determined by an equal weighting of sales, CARAS Academy Delegate votes and Next Big Sound Data.

Up for Artist of the Year are Kingston, ON’s Bryan Adams, Niagara Falls’ deadmau5, Montreal’s Leonard Cohen, Halifax’s Sarah McLachlan, and Toronto’s The Weeknd.

For Group of the Year, we have Hamilton’s Arkells, Montreal’s Chromeo, Quadra Island, BC’s Mother Mother, Hanna, AB’s Nickelback, and half Canadian duo You+Me.

The Artists

Bryan Adams released a gold-certified covers album last year, Tracks of My Years. He has won 19 JUNO Awards placing him in third place after Anne Murray and Celine Dion. Deadmau5 released his album While One Is Less Than Two which placed three tracks on the charts, the most successful being “Seeya”, a gold, Top 20 hit. He’s won four JUNOs to date. Leonard Cohen gave us platinum certified album Popular Problems. His JUNO count stands at six. Sarah McLachlan, winner of eight JUNOs heartened 2014 with her gold album Shine On. The Weeknd’s last album was Kiss Land back in September 2013. Four of his songs made the Hot 100 in 2014 including his Top 10 collaboration with Ariana Grande. Newer on the playing field, The Weeknd has had two JUNOs to date.

We have a feeling The Weeknd will win this one, with his recent international superstardom and thus momentum, but it’s a tough call. Interestingly, none of the artists scored both a Hot 100 charting single and a gold/platinum certified album in 2014.

The Groups

Regarding the groups, two-time JUNO winner Arkells released album High Noon and single “Come to Light” peaked at #81 on the charts. Chromeo had one of the year’s biggest Canadian hits; “Jealous” from album White Women peaked at #12 and became a platinum single. The duo has not yet won a JUNO. Mother Mother graced 2014 with album Very Good Bad Thing. While no certifications or hit singles resulted, the band was signed to a major label, a mark of growth. The band has not yet won a JUNO. Nicelback’s 2014 album was No Fixed Address, recently certified platinum. Three singles made the charts, two landing in the Top 40. The band has won a dozen JUNOs. You+Me scored gold album Rose Ave, three tracks making the Hot 100. The duo was new on the scene in 2014.

Prediction? The JUNOs will probably want to reward Chromeo for its new level of success and finally give the duo an award.

Ice Conduit to the 2015 JUNOs: Electronic Album of the Year

Electronic Album Nominees copy

Electronic music and dance music used to be entirely different, for example Vangelis versus The Bee Gees. But with the advent of EDM, there is much crossover nowadays. This year, deadmau5 is in the electronic as opposed to the dance category. CARAS defines the electronic category as:

Album-length original recordings composed with electronic equipment as the essential songwriting tools and defined by their electronic elements. Musical genres and respective subgenres such as (but not limited to) techno, house, electro, trance, drum’n’bass, dubstep, grime, electro-acoustic, turntablism, sample-based music, ambient and downtempo are eligible for this category.

This year’s nominees are Caribou for Our Love, deadmau5 for While One Is Less Than Two, Lydia Ainsworth for Right From Real, Plastikman for EX, and Ryan Hemsworth for Alone For the First Time. Deadmau5 is the only artist with hits (three Top 40 on the Hot 100) and certifications (highest: platinum). All artists are from Ontario except for Ryan who’s from Halifax. Caribou is from Dundas, deadmau5 from Niagara Falls, Lydia from Toronto, and Plastikman from Windsor. The latter two are nominated for their first JUNO this year. Caribou won in this category in 2011 while Ryan won last year. Deadmau5 has won all four of his JUNOs in the Dance Recording category.

More JUNO Performers Confirmed: Alanis, deadmau5, LIGHTS, and the SRB!

JUNOs 2015 Performers1

The JUNO Awards confirmed additional performers today. Joining Arkells, Hedley, Kiesza, MAGIC!, and Shawn Mendes at the March 15 gala in Hamilton will be double diamond alt rocker Alanis Morissette, EDM wizard deadmau5, electro pop specialist LIGHTS, and Montreal’s the Sam Roberts Band! Are we stoked yet? Holy smokes!

This year’s JUNO Fan Fare event (March 14) will be split into four signing session tables, loosely based on genre, with each attendee limited to one, allowing for more participants. Table 1 (rock) has Arkells and the Sam Roberts Band. Table 2 (pop/R&B) has Shawn Mendes, Nikki Yanofsky, JRDN, and Melanie Durrant. Table 3 (dance/electro) has Kiesza, LIGHTS, Glenn Morrison, Trevor Guthrie, and Zed’s Dead. And Table 4 (country) has Dallas Smith, Kira Isabella, MacKenzie Porter, Paul Brandt, and The Road Hammers. Tickets for Tables 2 and 3 have already sold out. You can purchase tickets here.

News Among the Stars, 25 January 2015

JUNO Nominations

JUNO Awards 2015 Nominations copy

Heads up, the 2015 JUNO nominations will be revealed on Tuesday (January 27th). We will see if we can add some insights and stats not reported through conventional media.

LIGHTS and #UpWeGold

Lights-Up-We-Go-2014

LIGHTS’ single “Up We Go” has been certified gold by Music Canada. It is her second to do so after her debut single “Drive My Soul” a few years ago. LIGHTS’ first two albums have struck gold as well bringing her tally of gold discs to four. LIGHTS’ MV for “Running with the Boys” will debut tomorrow exclusively on MuchMusic.

Fontarabie’s New EP

Fontarabie - Eclipses

Malajube lead singer Julien Mineau who released an album under the Fontarabie moniker in 2014, has followed up less than a year later with a new EP entitled Éclipses. It is available on iTunes and you can stream the whole disc here.

Kreesha Turner In the Republic

Kreesha Turner Republic Records

Edmonton’s Kreesha Turner is on with Republic Records under the Universal Music umbrella. This is the same label as heavyweights Drake, Lorde, and Ariana Grande. Kreesha was formerly with now defunct EMI. At home, her music will be released through Universal Music Canada.

Suzie McNeil Heads Into R&B Territory

SM final

Suzie McNeil’s new single “The Best Is Yet To Come” was co-written by Kevin Kadish, the man behind Meghan Trainor’s smash “All About That Bass”. Suzie revealed in a recent interview with CTV that her upcoming album will embrace a more R&B sound as that is what she began doing in music before her stardom. You can watch a lyric video here.

Runaway Angel

Runaway Angel

Charlie has nothing to do with these three talented beauties. Southbound Records and eOne Music Canada have inked a deal with Toronto female country trio Runaway Angel who are Ann Chaplin, Cadence Grace, and Stacey Zegers. All three have had success as soloists but decided to join forces in 2013. The group is currently recording its first EP. Debut single “Run Angel Run” is slated to hit radio in early March.

DoughnutMau5

Mau5doughnuts

deadmau5 recently gained entry into the Tim Hortons test kitchen baking up some special doughnuts in the shape of the mau5.

Selected New Releases 25 November 2014

25 Nov 2014 Albums Collage copy

Platinum country-rocker Dallas Smith releases his second studio album, Lifted. Gold-certified Dumas launches his latest, a self-titled LP. Barenaked Ladies’ keyboardist Kevin Hearn contributes Days In Frames. Album X celebrates 10 years in music from rock band Jonas & The Massive Attraction. In The Hardest Part Is You May Never Know, Paul Cargnello continues his adeptness at mashing up punk rock, reggae, blues and folk. Noem is a five-piece alternative / electronic rock band from Sherbrooke and turns out fine new album Le grand Mensonge. Snowday, a new chillout electronica outfit based in Toronto with members from Ottawa, gives us the exquisite debut, As We Travel. Rap lovers can enjoy new album Sale sud by Saye.

Cristóbal Cortes, operating under the name Das Mörtal, fires off his third 2014 EP, Never Forgotten. He does instrumental electronica on the darker side fit for horror movie soundtracks (which he has done). Molitor is a progressive pop/rock male soloist from Niagara Falls and #lonelypeople_Music is his second EP.

As we get into the busiest retail season of the year, greatest hit packages, holiday albums, and reissues hit the shops. We have previously featured Bryan Adams’ Reckless deluxe reissue and Garou‘s Xmas Blues. Kingston’s Headstones release a fan-selected greatest hits performed on acoustic instruments. EDM wizard deadmau5 celebrates five years with a greatest hits double album which contains remixes and extended versions of his most popular tracks. Finally comes a greatest hits from Jacksoul, a successful Toronto R&B band whose lead singer passed away from cancer in 2009.

Gold/Platinum Certifications July – August 2014

Certifications from 2014 -  07 - 21

For both albums and digital singles released from May 1, 2008 onwards, definitions are: Gold = 40,000 units sold, Platinum = 80,000 units sold, Double Platinum = 160,000 units, Triple Platinum = 240,000 units, etc.

Zimmer(space)man Floating in an Infinite Loop

deadmau5-While-1_2Four-time JUNO winner, with 10 charting singles, platinum certification, and a rightful claim to Niagara Falls as his birthplace, all to his credit is Joel Zimmerman. Known better as deadmau5, the electronic music specialist has released his 7th album with a title that is computer programming talk for “infinite loop”. This is a double LP, the digital version of which contains two megamixes giving it a total run time of around 4.5 hours. Though classified as EDM, it is nearly always E and not always D. That is, it is electronic music, often in the vein of Larry Fast’s Synergy, parts of which contain beats, some of which are danceable beats. This EdM is a welcome variety of dancefloor sparkle, downtempo chill time, sad sustain-pedal piano sulk, and trippy spacewalk grace & glee. The album earned a 4th place iTunes placement upon release. Current hit single “Seeya” featuring the vocal talents of Colleen D’Agostino (Los Angeles, USA) embedded below.  iTunes

Ice Conduit to the 2014 JUNOs: Dance Recording of the Year Nominees

Dance Recording of the Year Nominations copy

Fact #1: One of the nominations is an album; the rest are singles.

Fact #2: Only one of the nominees has previously won at the JUNOs

This Is What It Feels Like ft. Trevor Guthrie (North Vancouver, BC)

This Is What It Feels Like - Armin Van Buuren ft Trevor GuthrieAs a soloist, this is Trevor’s first JUNO nomination. Platinum band soulDecision which he previously fronted received three in 2001. The band eventually folded as, for whatever reason, it received little support from the Canadian music industry. Hooking up with renowned Dutch EDM master Armin van Buuren, Trevor wrote and sings this song about his neighbour who had a brain tumour. Making it up to #6 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, it was certified double platinum and finished the year as its 19th biggest hit.

Album Title Goes Here by deadmau5 (Niagara Falls, ON)

deadmau5 - album title goes herePlatinum EDM force Joel Zimmerman, as deadmau5, is one of the top Canadians on social media and has already won four JUNO awards. He became the first Canadian to sell out the Rogers Centre in Toronto. This is his sixth studio album and the only LP nominated in the Dance Recording category this year. It peaked at #2 on the Canadian Albums Chart and has been certified gold. Two charting singles were spawned from the album, the most successful of which, “The Veldt”, reached #24 on the Canadian Hot 100.

Tsunami by DVBBS (Orangeville, ON)

DVBBS-Borgeous - TsunamiA successful marketing scheme hyped this song by keeping the artist a secret. Many assumed it was the product of a major artist. In the end, the world was surprised to learn that the mystery track was created by Canada’s obscure DVBBS. The outfit had been releasing excellent tunes over the last few years but success had eluded them. The release of “Tsunami” however went to #1 on Beatport, made the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, and became an even bigger hit in Europe. This is DVBBS’ first JUNO nomination.

Locked Down by Jacynthe (Québec City, QC)

Jacynthe-Locked-Down-Single-artwork-WhammoWhen she was just 19 years old, Jacynthe became Canada’s Madonna making the best dance music north of the 49th. Her 1998 debut album I Got What It Takes was JUNO-nominated with its “Give It Up” reaching #27 on the charts. In 2000, “Listen to My Heart” became her second Top 40 hit. With Canada swept up in punk music in the noughties decade, Jacynthe was nudged over to the edge of the spotlight. Now into the 2010s, however, with dance pop and EDM ruling the airwaves, she is making a significant comeback. Being fluent in French (she has also recorded songs in Italian), she was featured in the bilingual version of Victoria Duffield’s “Feel”. “Locked Down” is Jacynthe’s first JUNO nomination in 15 years!

Heartbreaker by Mia Martina (St. Ignace, NB)

mia martina HeartbreakerNew Brunswick’s Mia Martina gained tremendous mileage from her album Devotion including gold singles and JUNO nominations. She and her team have delivered some breathtaking music videos. Moreover, she is one Canadian, nay international, artist who can sing well in both official languages; she sounds exquisite in English and fabulous in French. She has also recorded material in Spanish. “Heartbreaker” was Mia’s first new single after the Devotion era. It spent 17 weeks on the Canadian Hot 100 peaking at #44. This is Mia’s third JUNO nomination.

Gold/Platinum Certifications Late July 2013

Music Canada announced some fresh record certifications at the end of July.

2013 - 07 - 23

Definitions

Gold = 40,000 units sold. Platinum = 80,000 units sold. 2x Platinum = 160,000 units sold. 3x Platinum = 240,000 units sold. Etc.

Canadian Music Blog’s Top 20 Song Faves of 2012, Part 1: #20 to #11

Canadian Artists

PREAMBLE
Considering that some 8,000 songs from Canadian artists came out in 2012, coming up with the top 200 would have be difficult enough, but the top 20 was extremely difficult! To make things easier (and a fairer and tidier list), we allowed only one entry per artist.

Equally difficult was trying to decide whether a song could be considered a 2012 song. The biggest song of the year, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” was released in 2011. But we think of it as a 2012 song because that’s when it enjoyed its biggest chart success. Below are a list of rules about which songs were eligible for our list.

ELIGIBILITY
1. For songs on albums not released as singles, the album had to have been released in 2012.

2. For non Hot 100 charting singles, the release date had to be in 2012.

3. For charting singles, the song had to reach its Hot 100 peak position during 2012.

4. If a song was included on our Faves list for the previous year but ended up being released as a single or charting this year, we will not re-include it on this year’s Faves list.

5. All songs eligible had to be in whole or in part credited to and performed by a Canadian artist whether or not it was composed by a Canadian.

PROCESS
As with our albums list, we listened to all 2012 songs shortlisting the ones we loved, then ranking them at the end of the year. We were not at all swayed by how popular (or unpopular) a song was or what the genre was.

We have included the cover art for singles. For album non-single songs, we framed the album cover with the song’s name on the frame.

THE LIST…

#20. “You and I” by Anjulie

Anjulie - You and IJUNO-nominated, platinum-selling Oakville recording artist Anjulie is one of the most stylish and exquisite songwriters in the country, not to mention a talented musician and very good singer to boot. This year she released 3 gourmet singles and it was a tough call picking our favourite. We’re settling on Top 30 (currently) “You and I” which pays homage to 1970s dance music while still remaining distinctively fresh and modern. It begins in a simple vein on acoustic guitar strums and builds into a star-soaring, beat thumping chorus, complete with revving keyboard riffs.  This was one of 2012’s precious treasures, simply beautiful.

#19. “Love” by Raghav

Raghav - LoveGold single “Fire” was one of the most delightful songs of 2011. Calgary’s JUNO-nominated Raghav was the only artist from anywhere in the world to score three Top 10 singles in the UK in 2004 having launched his career from Britain. He released his long awaited album The Phoenix in home country of Canada this year. Raghav’s gorgeous ballad “Love” was originally written for Michael Jackson and was released as a single late in the year. With catchy lyrics “Is this what they call love? Is this what all the fuss is about? If so, let me out!”, unpredictable and detailed hooks, and some sweet singing, this was definitely one of the best songs of the year.

#18. “Tough Love” by Suzie McNeil

Suzie McNeil - Tough LoveThis Mississauga native, currently signed to Vancouver label 604 Records, is a fabulous singer best known perhaps for her song “Supergirl” which made the year-end top 100 of 2009. Suzie is blessed with a versatile voice, handling both softer and harder rock with ease. She released her 3rd studio album this year, Dear Love, three tracks of which have been released as singles. She co-wrote “Tough Love”, the album’s 3rd single, with Marianas Trench frontman Josh Ramsay. This magnificent song which should have been a huge hit is Katy Perry rolled up with Joan Jett, i.e. lovely but tough. This song is like a battle between mischievous Cupid and Supergirl Suzie.

#17. “The Love You Gave” by Elisapie

Elisapie - The Love You GaveHer album Travelling Love was one of our favourites of the year and this track stood out the most for us. Elisapie, previously in JUNO award winning duo Taima, is zooming ahead in her solo career’s skidoo as her second album shifted gears from her folky roots to a more pop/rock sound. The song is a savoury blend of spicy keyboards, sweet vocals, bitter beat, salty guitars, with backing choir, handclaps, and even a 70s style guitar solo. In short, “The Love You Gave” is perfect from every standpoint including composition, arrangement, delivery, and production. It’s no wonder that iTunes selected this song as one of their “songs of the week”.

#16. “Castle in the Cloud” by Stef Lang

Stef Lang - Castle in the CloudA cool groove that has the beauty to stop you in your tracks is this little jewel written, delivered, recorded, and produced by British Columbian independent artist Stef Lang. After releasing radio friendly EP Fighting Mirrors earlier in the year that spawned airwave played “Paper Doll” and moreover after laying the vocals on two tracks off Delerium’s latest album Music Box Opera, she created LP Self, our 9th favourite of 2012. This track was our pick of the bunch, though just about any selection from the album could easily be placed here. While many of the more popular tunes this year got away with bearing too much resemblance to a hit of the past, this is a very original composition.

#15. “The Veldt” by deadmau5

deadmau5 - the veldtCanada’s best-known EDM musician who composes but does not normally sing recruited Chris James to deliver the vocals on what sounds like a track inspired by Carol Anne Freeling in Poltergeist. One thing we know for sure is that the title came from a short sci-fi story by Ray Bradbury. Deadmau5 first created the tune on a live streaming session and then discovered Chris’ vocal rendition of it via Twitter. He invited Chris to perform on the official recording. The single came out just one month prior to Bradbury’s passing. “The Veldt” peaked on the Hot 100 at #24 and was the 75th most popular song of the year. To date, deadmau5 has won 4 JUNO awards.

#14. “Beauty and a Beat” by Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber - Beauty and a BeatBelieve was the most internationally successful Canadian album of the year and was certified double platinum at home. Of several singles released from the LP, we favoured this one best which is just a blast with its playful style and funky bass. The song was composed by internationally acclaimed songwriters Max Martin (Sweden), Anton Zaslavski (Russian-German), and Savan Kotecha (American) and it features a short and sweet spoken word segment with Nicki Minaj. “Beauty and a Beat” debuted on the Hot 100 at #47, disappeared the following week, and then re-entered 16 weeks later, peaking at #4. It has gone gold. Justin Bieber has won three JUNO awards.

#13. “So Happy I Could Die” by Bif Naked

Bif Naked - So Happy I Could DieJUNO-nominated and platinum-selling (not to mention humourist, motivational speaker, and comic cartoonist) Bif Naked in recent years underwent a successful battle against cancer. This year she released an album of mostly acoustic versions of her biggest hits plus a couple of new songs, Bif Naked Forever: (Acoustic Hits & Other Delights). In teaming up with Ryan Stewart, “So Happy I Could Die” is her welcome tribute to dance pop with a fantastic beat punctuated by her classic and lovable nasally vocals. “So here goes. I decided that’s enough. And it shows. I’m a fighter; I am tough” pretty much sums up the lessons she has learned from her experience.

#12. “Satellite” by Andrew Allen

Andrew Allen - SatelliteVernon, British Columbia, situated in the beautiful Okanagan valley, is the hometown of emerging recording artist Andrew Allen. Having enjoyed some radio hits, most notably the 3-million-plus YouTube viewed “Loving You Tonight”, Andrew launched his delicious dance-pop tune “Satellite” after scoring a charting single “I Want You” earlier in the year. Pulsating, percolating, and bubbling ’round the maple tree, the song is quite the embodiment of the touring lifestyle to which Allen has no doubt grown accustomed. 2012 was the year that Canadians became dance pop specialists and Allen is yet another example of such greatness.

#11. “Kiss You Inside Out” (Bilingual Version) by Hedley ft. Andrée-Anne Leclerc

Hedley ft Andree-Anne Leclerc - Kiss You Inside Out Bilingual VersionThe addition of Star Academie finalist Andrée-Anne Leclerc to perform a bilingual duet with Hedley’s Jacob Hoggard converted a good song into a great song and transformed something that could pass for a tune from any country into one that was distinctively Canadian. “Kiss You Inside Out”, released outside of JUNO-winning album Storms as a separate single, reached #2 on the weekly Hot 100 and was the second biggest Canadian hit of the year (after “Call Me Maybe”) in 19th spot on the year-end Billboard Hot 100. Given the beauty of musical composition, with a sweet and catchy melody, we are not surprised that this has become a triple-platinum single.

Related Posts

Top 20 Song Faves of 2012, Part 2 (#10 to #1)

Top 10 Music Video Faves of 2012

2012’s Music Video of the Year

Top 15 Album Faves of 2012

2012’s Album of the Year

Canadians Nominated for United States’ Grammy Awards

Loreena McKennittThe Grammy Awards are the U.S. equivalent of the JUNOs.  They differ though in that JUNO awards, unless in the international categories, are given to Canadian artists.  Grammy awards are given out to anyone in the world, provided their music was popular within the borders of the United States.  In scrolling through the list of nominees to find Canadian artists, we found some amusing category titles.  First off, given that the definition of a song is “a piece of music that is sung”, the title “Best Rap Song” is a contradiction in terms.  We can at least give them credit for not using the often misplaced term “hip hop” which refers to the dance that goes with rap music rather than rap music itself.  Another peculiar one is that the U.S. uses the term “Latin” to refer not to music that is performed in the Latin language but in Spanish.  Latin is much closer to Italian than to Spanish.  Did it not come from Italy?  Let’s get the terminology right, guys, lest the rigatoni masters squirt you with pasta sauce and the sombrero dudes demand Texas is returned to Mexico.

The other bizarre thing about the Grammy Awards, and I suppose the same is true of the JUNOs, is that there are songs and albums nominated that were big prior to 2012 (i.e. old).

Congratulations to our hard-working Canadian artists on the nominations, eh.

SONG OF THE YEAR
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call My Maybe”

BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call My Maybe”

BEST DANCE/ELECTRONICA ALBUM
Deadmau5, > Album Title Goes Here <

BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
Michael Bublé, Christmas

BEST SCORE SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA
Howard Shore, Hugo

BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA
Arcade Fire, “Abraham’s Daughter” for The Hunger Games

BEST TRADITIONAL R&B PERFORMANCE
Melanie Fiona, “Wrong Side of a Love Song”

BEST R&B SONG
Tamia, “Beautiful Surprise”

BEST R&B ALBUM
Tamia, Beautiful Surprise

BEST RAP PERFORMANCE
Drake, “HYFR”

BEST RAP SONG
Drake, “The Motto”

BEST RAP ALBUM
Drake, Take Care

BEST NEW AGE ALBUM
Loreena McKennitt, Troubadours on the Rhine

BEST LONG FORM MUSIC VIDEO
Tegan and Sara, Get Along

4 New Stellar Upcoming Releases

Besides Carly Rae Jepsen’s highly anticipated release on September 18, a number of other high-profile artists will be serving new treats for us that month and beyond.  Included are a progressive rock group, a punk band, a world-renowned jazz artist, and a house muscian.

StarsThe North (September 4)

Style: Progressive
City: Montréal
JUNO Awards: 2 nominations
Certifications: 1 gold album
Twitter Followers: 12,800+
Facebook Likes: 197,000+
Official Website: http://www.youarestars.com/

One of the most prolific bands in the nation, Montreal-based Stars are launching perhaps their best work to date.  Sounding like a scintillating blending of New Order, Foster the People, and Metric, their 6th studio album, The North will be hitting stores soon.  With 2 JUNO-nominated albums and nearly 200,000 Facebook likes, the creative, electronic-twinkling ensemble consists of Torquil Campbell, Chris Seligman, Evan Cranley, Amy Millan, and Pat McGee.  Lead single is a song with a title long enough to span across the CPR: “Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When you Give It”. You can give it a listen HERE.

Billy TalentDead Silence (September 11)

Style: Punk
City: Mississauga
JUNO Awards: 7 wins
Certifications: 3 multi-platinum albums
Twitter Followers: 44,000+
Facebook Likes: 1.1+ million
Official Website: http://www.billytalent.com/

In the Great White North, Billy is not the name of a goat (though internet trolls may beg to differ).  Until their fame burgeoned after 2003, it was rare to see the terms “punk” and “talent” printed together in the press.  With a trio of multi-platinum albums under their rockabilly belts, Ben, Ian, Jonathan, and Aaron are ready to take in their next.  Two tracks have already moshed into the Billboard Canadian Hot 100: “Viking Death March” and “Surprise Surprise”.  You can watch the former’s MV HERE.

Deadmau5> album title goes here < (September 25)

Style: House
City: Toronto
JUNO Awards: 4 wins
Certifications: 1 platinum album and 1 gold single
Twitter Followers: 1.3+ million
Facebook Likes: 6.6+ million
Official Website: http://www.deadmau5.com/

Brush aside the mouse traps, Deadmau5 is a cool cat, and who would have ever thought that a house musician could become the 5th most popular Canadian artist on social media sites?  His real name is Joel Zimmerman and was born in perhaps the niftiest place in the country—Niagara Falls.  “The Veldt” (listen HEEEERE), his collaboration with Chris James, has already burrowed up the charts like a mouse through cheese, and now he is set to launch his 6th studio album.

Diana KrallGlad Rag Doll (October 1)

Style: Vocal Jazz
City: Nanaimo
JUNO Awards: 8 wins
Certifications: 7 multi-platinum albums
Twitter Followers: 36,000+
Facebook Likes: 414,000+
Official Website: http://www.dianakrall.com/

Born in the city after which Nanaimo bars were named (they were actually invented in Ladysmith where Stef Lang is from), Diana Krall spent her youth and adult years in several cities around the globe. She eventually became the best-selling female jazz artist of all-time. Her resume is exceptionally impressive: 7 multi-platinum albums (The Look of Love is 7x Platinum) and 8 JUNO awards. The singer-pianist’s website says of the new music, “swinging, rocking and taboo collide with songs of longing, solace and regret”. The album features guitarist T Bone Burnett. You can listen to one of the album’s tracks HERE.